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Opinion

Newcastle United squad strength – First choice players and the rest all individually rated for 2023/24 season

7 months ago
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Is this Newcastle United squad strong enough?

How is it shaping up ahead of this massive 2023/24 season.

I have been through the whole Newcastle United squad, rating the players.

I have grouped them together in their positions / areas of the pitch, rating all of the Newcastle United squad between 1 and 5, in an attempt to measure where exactly the strengths are, plus maybe more importantly any weak areas that need investment.

GOALKEEPERS

Pope (5), Dubravka (4), Darlow (3), Karius (2.5), Gillespie (1.5)

FULL-BACKS

Trippier (5), Burn (4), Targett (4), Manquillo (3), Krafth (3), Dummett (2), Lewis (2), Ashby (1.5)

CENTRAL DEFENDERS

Botman (5), Schar (4.5), Lascelles (3)

MIDFIELDERS

Bruno (5), Joelinton (5), Tonali (5), Longstaff (4.5), Willock (4.5)

WINGERS

Almiron (4.5), Gordon (4), ASM (4), Murphy (3.5), Anderson (3.5), Ritchie (2)

STRIKERS

Isak (5), Wilson (4.5)

CONCLUSIONS

Goalkeepers

As things stand, I think NUFC are in a great position in this department.

Pope proving himself an excellent number one and in Dubravka, a Premier League level keeper as back-up. Darlow likely to leave but I’m happy with either Karius or him as third choice.

FULL-BACKS

Kieran Trippier outstanding last season but no real obvious replacement and ideally, needs competition / back-up.

On the other side, Dan Burn really stepped up and was excellent last season. Maybe too much to expect him to reach those levels and consistency again throughout next season, so ideally, a new clear first choice probably wanted. However, in Burn and Targett NUFC have two good, if not outstanding, left-backs.

CENTRAL DEFENDERS

Botman and Schar superb last season, Burn did really well there as well in the second half of the 2021/22 season.

However, it feels like time for Lascelles to move on and hopefully another right sided option to come in to challenge Schar and ideally, be versatile enough to also give some right-back cover.

MIDFIELDERS

I think pretty clear this is Newcastle’s strongest area of the squad. With Sandro Tonali simply adding to that.

WINGERS

I think NUFC with a good group of players as options but maybe missing real star quality, especially in terms of end product.

Of course, this good group could prove me wrong. If Almiron proved it wasn’t a one-off and once again got double figure Premier League goals, then no arguments there. Same with ASM if he could hit top form on a regular basis, whilst Anthony Gordon really rising in my expectations with his England Under 21 form this summer as they won the Euros. Elliot Anderson hasn’t been given very many real opportunities but another who could potentially really improve this season. Murphy yet another who played his part last season, especially late on in the campaign.

I think maybe with this group, a case of a lot of good options but no guarantee as things stand that any will really excel in 2023/24. So with a real quality addition with stats to back that up, such as Harvey Barnes possibly, that could really lift this area’s overall strength.

STRIKERS

Great things expected of Isak now he is settled in and got over his injury, looking so good in the final months of teh 2022/23 season. Whilst Wilson showed in the last two months of the season, he is one of the best English strikers around. Maybe could do with a third option and possibly Eddie Howe already has that, as Anthony Gordon operated as England’s striker in the Under 21s Euros and won player of the tournament.

I don’t think it needs saying but… Newcastle United now have an excellent first eleven.

As outlined above, I think they also have a very decent number of options beyond the first choice eleven.

However, I think the above also shows that some areas of the pitch definitely have more options and strength in depth, so some additions could be pivotal with a massive season ahead.

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